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Strymon Delivers the Perfect Combination of Features and Usability in its new Iridium Stereo Amp & IR Cab Simulator

Amp and Cab IR SimStrymonUtility
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2019GPXStrymonIridium700.jpg

One of the areas I have yet to get properly stuck into is making recordings from my Stereo Rig - up until now I had been planning on some sort of 3 Mic setup with one per Cab, and an ambient Room Mic. This approach would have involved all manner of additional hardware boxes and cabling, signal-fine-tuning, re-balancing and mix down, and while there are a couple or so decent Stereo Amp/Cab Simulators already on the market - nothing has held any appeal for me until now.

 

Strymon in their usual way have found the perfect means to distil the essentials into one of their standard square medium enclosure pedals. Pete Celi and the team have once again managed to elegantly reduce the complexity down to just a few intuitive settings.

 

You essentially get The 3 Classic Iconic AMP Simulations:

  • round = 1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb
  • chime = 1960 Vox AC30 TB (Top Boost)
  • punch = 1959 Marshall Plexi Super Lead

 

Where each gets 3 Preloaded CAB IR Simulations - or 9 in total:

 

round :

  • a : Deluxe Reverb® 1×12" by OwnHammer
  • b : Blues Junior® 1×12" by cabIR
  • c : Vibrolux® 2×10" by cabIR

chime :

  • a : AC30 2×12" AlNiCo by OwnHammer
  • b : 1×12" AlNiCo by Celestion
  • c : Mesa® 4×12" by Valhallir

punch :

  • a : GNR 4×12" by OwnHammer (1971 Marshall Stack)
  • b : 2×12" Vintage 30 by Celestion
  • c : Marshall 8×12" AlNiCo by cabIR (1965 Marshall Stack)

You can add and replace the IR’s via the USB port on the rear of the pedal - where you use the Strymon Impulse Manager software to configure / refine your own preferences.

 

Key Pedal Controls are as follows, note that I’ve annotated in Secondary and MIDI functions in the above visual:

  • DRIVE : This is the Gain Character Voicing and Response Control - it is different for each of the AMP types
  • AMP Selector : Select from round (Fender DLX RVB), chime (Vox AC30 TB), and punch (Marshal Plexi SL)
  • CAB Selector : Select 3 IR Cab simulation per AMP type - a/b/c
  • LEVEL : Output Level; Secondary Function is Headphone Level Trim
  • BASS : Low Frequency EQ / Focus
  • MIDDLE : Mid Frequency EQ / Focus - except for chime AMP where it functions to roll-off high frequencies
  • TREBLE : High Frequency EQ / Focus
  • ROOM : Natural Room Ambience, Reflections and Decay; Secondary Function is Room Size - Small/Medium/Large
  • FAV Footswitch : Single Favourite Preset / also for Midi Preset/s - also used to trigger Secondary Functions
  • ON Footswitch : ON / ByPass switch - also used to trigger Secondary Functions

Ports/Externals:

  • IN : Mono Input by default, but can use Y type TRS cable for Stereo Input
  • OUT LEFT : Left Stereo Output Channel
  • OUT RIGHT : Right Stereo Output Channel
  • EXP/MIDI : Expression or MIDI Jack - depending on Expression / MIDI Options set on Power-Up on DRIVE and LEVEL Controls
  • OPERATION MODE : MONO | STEREO | SUM
  • USB PORT : Use to Load custom IR Profiles from Strymon Impulse Manager software
  • HEADPHONE JACK : 2.5MM Mini Headphone Jack for Monitoring

Verdict

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This truly is a fantastic proposition and for Stereo Rig owners in particular. There are ByPass features so you can use the AMP or CAB simulations independently - for me this really is the perfect package. The holy grail amp has always been one which combines the Tones and Timbres of Fender, Vox and Marshall. And the AMP modes and corresponding CAB IR's are just perfectly curated - I could not wish for more - and if I did - I still have the Strymon Impulse Manager software to hone my own preferred IR's should I feel the need.

 

The Control Topology is highly intuitive and simple - possibly with the exception of the MIDI Power-On Settings. Otherwise and in normal use - only 2 controls have secondary functions - the LEVEL and ROOM knobs as detailed above.

 

Strymon could have gone about this in so many different ways, but I'm delighted that they decided on this particular execution - it has everything you really need in a really practical and usable form factor - I expect these to sell by the bucket-load even though they are at a slightly pricey £399. I will certainly be acquiring one of these - probably early next year though, as I have existing priorities already for year-end!

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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